Eastern Tech's muscle pays off Jones-led rally produces 35-26 win over Milford Mill

Football

October 31, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Power beat speed last night as No. 2-ranked Eastern Tech advanced closer to the Baltimore County 3A-4A League title and unbeaten regular season with a 35-26 triumph over No. 6 Milford Mill at Catonsville Community College.

The Mavericks (9-0) can win the league title outright with a victory over Kenwood next weekend, as well as the Class 3A North region title and a top seed for the state tournament in two weeks. The loss possibly eliminated Milford Mill (7-2) from post-season play.

After falling behind 20-6 against Milford Mill's spread offense in the first half, the Mavericks dominated after halftime behind Ray Jones.

In a physical, tense battle, Jones scored three touchdowns in the second half, rushing for a total of 261 yards. That included a 41-yard run with 2: 26 remaining that put Eastern Tech up 34-26. Jeff Gutowski's extra point added some breathing room.

"The main thing was for us keep our composure and play our game," said Jones, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior back who had 163 yards rushing in the second half. "We knew we had to be physical."

The Mavericks sent Milford Mill's key components of its spread offense, quarterback Richard Johnson and running back Ty Gholston, to the bench in the first half. Johnson suffered a pinched nerve in his right throwing arm, and Gholston had a head injury.

While Gholston (60 yards) was able to return effectively in the second half, Johnson had problems throwing the ball, doing most of his work on the ground.

"We're not as effective without Richard, and that hurt us," said Milford Mill coach Reggie Brooks. "We got banged up pretty good by Eastern Tech. They made some big plays."

Gholston scored Milford Mill's only touchdown of the second half on a 2-yard run with 5: 03 remaining in the game, bringing the score to 28-26.

Starting from its 41, Eastern Tech then handed the ball to Jones three times, netting 18 yards. On second and 2, Jones took a handoff from Scott Pearce and turned down the right sidelines for the decisive score.

"He gets better as the game goes on," said Eastern Tech coach Nick Arminio of Jones. "He gets stronger and stronger, and that's a credit to his conditioning. We knew we had to be physical to beat this team."

The Mavericks' brother duo of Steve and Anthony Lawston was again effective. Steve had three catches for 81 yards, and Steve had two receptions for 27 yards and 70 return yards.

Pub Date: 10/31/98

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